Special Note: Watch Truth That Transforms TV August 28 as we report on efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. Or watch feature below now.
Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, said the administration is acting to “protect the bottom lines of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.”
It’s doing so against the will of the American people. A 2009 Quinnipiac University poll found that 72 percent of Americans do not want taxpayer dollars to provide abortions or subsidize them.
When Indiana passed a bill to stop funding of any health care providers that perform abortions, Dr. Donald Berwick, the head of the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, sent a stern letter to Indiana and all other states warning them that if they cut off abortion providers like Planned Parenthood, they would risk losing all federal Medicaid funding.
Despite the Obama administration’s threats and a federal injunction against the Indiana law obtained by Planned Parenthood with help from the U.S. Justice Department, seven states have taken action to defund abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood.
In May, Kansas redirected over $300,000 for family-planning away from Planned Parenthood to health clinics where women could receive a full-range of health care services. In June, Tennessee reallocated a similar amount.
North Carolina legislators prohibited the state from entering into contracts with or providing grants to Planned Parenthood—doing so over their governor’s veto. The Wisconsin legislature removed $1 million in federal family-planning funds from Planned Parenthood. The New Hampshire Executive Council blocked a $1.8 million contract with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie removed $7.5 million in funding for Planned Parenthood from his state’s budget. When the Democrat-controlled legislature voted to restore the funding, Governor Christie vetoed the measure.
Marie Tasy, President of New Jersey Right to Life, said, “Governor Christie is protecting the women and young girls of New Jersey by refusing to use our tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood.” She pointed out that New Jersey Planned Parenthood has been found guilty of aiding and abetting the sex trafficking of minors, and an investigation by the state Department of Health found numerous violations of health and safety standards at one of Planned Parenthood’s sites.
The most recent state at the time of this writing to remove funding from Planned Parenthood is Texas. The Texas legislature passed a bill that would send $47 million in taxpayer money to other organizations that provide medical services for poor women. Prior to that, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission had already tightened its regulations to ensure that no contracts for its Women’s Health Program were made with entities providing abortions.
Impact of Cuts Exaggerated
Planned Parenthood, a $1 billion organization which takes in some $363 million annually in state and federal tax dollars, charges that women will be hurt by the state funding cuts. Cecile Richards, who earned over $346,000 as Planned Parenthood CEO in 2008, stated that Indiana’s law would “take away health care from thousands of women in Indiana.”
But when pro-life group Live Action placed calls to 16 of the 28 Indiana Planned Parenthood centers, staffers admitted that women on Medicaid could still have access to medical care after the defunding. Staffers even suggested to one Live Action under-cover investigator that local health clinics “have the same services we have.”
Live Action also released undercover video in February showing staff at a Virginia Planned Parenthood abortion center agreeing to help a man posing as a pimp get abortions for under-age girls under his control. President Obama dismissed the video. “You know my bottom line is I think that Planned Parenthood in the past has done good work,” Obama said. “If there was a specific problem at this center, it should be addressed, but we shouldn’t get so distracted with some of these issues.”
Despite the president’s dismissal and his threat to veto any spending measure defunding Planned Parenthood, the House of Representatives voted in April to strip all federal funding from any abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood.
Watch Truth That Transforms TV August 28 as we report on efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.